Home Carbonating System

Well, it's definitely project time around these parts. Maybe it's the Berkeley air that's inspired me? The sweet swoosh of the salty breeze off the Bay? More likely it's boredom. Because when you move to a new place, you have to make new friends. And I'm still a little behind on that. Thus, projects are my friends! And they always return your phone calls.

Among my many projects this month was my new, fancy dancy home carbonating system. Homemade seltzer! Whenever I want it! Nerdy foodie jump for joy!

So now I have a 10 pound carbon dioxide tank that lives on my counter pretty much permanently and delivers me delightfully effervescent bubble water / soda / cocktails whenever I like.

The original plan was to spend hours visiting numerous hardware stores finagling parts and pieces and building this seltzer machine. Because, you know, I'm so hardcore.

And then I happened upon the incredibly fabulous Oak Barrel in Berkeley. Not only do they have everything for any home beer or wine maker, they also happen to have carbon dioxide tanks complete with the regulator and carbonator attachment to make a complete home carbonator system. Without any work.

Gasp. My planned day of futzing and messing and probably breaking the damn thing were smashed. Thank god.

Way too much money (but no headache) later, my fabulous carbonator is my favorite new kitchen appliance.

Info on how to build your own or acquire one pretty much ready-made, after the jump.

Here's the link to the incredibly in-depth, thorough and knowledgable guide to building a home carbonator system on the Etsy blog.

Live in the Bay Area and want to go the easy route? Call Oak Barrel and talk to Homer. He's a genius. As his name most obviously suggests. We were able to buy the full CO2 tank, regulator and carbonator attachment for about $200 total.

Full 10 pound CO2 tanks we priced run from $90 - $100. Used ones are cheaper. Aluminum ones are cheaper than metal ones.

This is the regulator (attached to the tank, and a tube attached to it). You can buy one at a welding supply store. We priced them at about $60 - $70.

And this blue thing-a-ma-jig is the "Carbonator" - it's a simple plastic attachment that goes on top of the bottle you're trying to carbonate. It's $20 bucks most places. I found it as cheap at $15 here.

And really, that's it! Three simple components if you can find them already made / put together. If you make this from scratch (and do all of the assembly) I estimate it will cost you about $150 - $180. The complete kit (assembled) ran us about $200. It's really a matter of preference on which way to go, and of course, access to the key parts you'll need.

Happy seltzering!